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UTV breaks through ice on Lake Winnebago in Fond du Lac

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Posted at 10:36 AM, Mar 18, 2022

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Emergency responders are warning people to stay off the ice on Lake Winnebago after crews rescued a UTV that broke through the ice Thursday.

Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue, as well as Fond du Lac Police officers and Fond du Lac County deputies, responded just before 7 p.m. Thursday to the Lakeside Park, Garden Drive area for a report of a truck that went through the ice.

Responders found that a UTV broke through the ice on Lake Winnebago and several people were still standing on the ice, trying to retrieve it.

"Fire and EMS personnel were unable to convince the parties to leave the ice as they were trying to recover the UTV," Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue said in a statement.

Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue personnel returned to service when it was realized that there was no longer a life safety emergency. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s department remained on-scene.

The temperature of the water at the time was 54 degrees, according to Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue. The depth of the water where the UTV broke through was three to four feet.

Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue would like to remind outdoor enthusiasts that the ice conditions on Lake Winnebago are never 100 percent safe.

"At this time of year and with the rain and increased temperatures Fond du Lac has experienced, the ice should be avoided for any recreational activities," Fire/Rescue said.

This UTV went through the ice in an area where there was no active crack and no visible hazards.

"Ice thickness is approximately 8 inches that has been significantly weakened by the rains and increased temperatures and has become ‘honeycombed.' This ice condition generally cannot support the weight of a person on foot let alone a vehicle," Fire/Rescue said in a statement.

Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue asks people to avoid recreation activities on Lake Winnebago as the ice is no longer safe.